Sharath Jois on the Nature of Effort and Surrender
In spite of what may seem like a devout nature of the yogapractice, learn how its essence is all about balance and finding equilibrium.
In Chapter 2, verse 47 ofPatanjali’s Yoga Sutras, it’swritten: prayatnashaithilya ananta samapattibhyam, or“the means of perfecting the posture is that of relaxing or loosening ofeffort, and allowing attention to merge with endlessness, or the infinite.” Inyoga, the concept of finding the balance between effort and surrender permeatesthrough all elements of the practice. On the one hand, we need to releaseeffort to merge with the infinite and attain perfection, however, we need atremendous amount of effort before we can get to the point where we releasethat effort.
Paramaguru Sharath Jois,alongside Sonima’s founder Sonia Jones, discusses how the paradox of effort iscentral to being a yogi. “Always you have to put effort,” says Sharath, “Butonce you become comfortable, there is no effort.” In this sense,effort contains infinite stepping stones; as we ascend, we constantlyteeter between staying still and moving forward, and in both instances theself contains both types of movement. For Sharath Jois, effort is highlypersonal; “the real yogi never shows [the world] anything—he does it [practice]for his own purification.”